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Models of Integration in Counseling: a Critical Review



The process of doing integration of psychology and theology is more complex than has been assumed. While H. Richard Niebuhr's book on Christ and Culture has been generally followed by most authors, it neither proposes a method for doing integration nor does it take adequate account of broader philosophical approaches to doing integration. This article will critique most of the integration efforts over the past twenty years focusing on what we can learn in five areas and will  indicate some of the problems with what has been done.

A New Model for Integration in Counseling html pdf

First, the Bible must be examined to construct a biblical world view. This world view will provide the starting point and the base from which to interpret facts.  Since we hold it to be true that truth discerned from any source is from God and will therefore be compatible with any other true statement, historical experience can be taken as a data base alongside scripture (remembering, of course, that the actual data is the historical event, not someone's record or account of the event). Thus, the Christian integrator has two valid data bases: the propositions (words) of the Bible and the facts of experience. From these bases a world view can be constructed.  From these bases the integrator can also define issues. Sometimes the historical events will seem important and felt issues can be defined and studied, using both data bases. In other cases the Bible will cast an attitude, action or practice in an important light and these issues can be examined using both data bases.  As each issues is fully examined in this back and forth process, a theory can be articulated which will provide useful information for application to life situations so that the issues under discussion can be resolved by living according to God's plan and desires for us.  Eventually, when many issues have been thus examined and various theories developed, it will be possible to discern the common elements in the theories and a general field theory (a system) can be defined.


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